Odigo, a global provider in Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, has announced findings from its annual AI for CX report. The research, conducted by Davies Hickman, surveys over 1000 business executives in Belgium and the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and the UK, and analyzes how contact centers are leveraging AI to enhance their offerings and their attitudes to new technologies.
Speaking to executives in sales & marketing, operations, logistics, IT, HR, finance and leadership roles, this year’s findings point towards an appetite within organizations to invest in AI and to further grow and improve customer experience (CX) offerings. Respondents were clear on the opportunities offered by AI. They recognized the need for innovation to make their services more streamlined and effective, and to assist contact center agents. However, respondents also admitted that they did not fully understand AI and that the growing skills gap in this area is hindering the adoption of this technology.
AI adding value
The coming two years are set to bring huge investment in AI, with 89% of European executives agreeing they’ll look to invest in that time frame. For the majority of these business leaders, the value of AI is clear. Whether to improve contact centers (78%), build better customer support (70%), or simply to reduce contact center costs (81%), respondents recognized the need to improve their CX and the role for AI in achieving those goals.
Customer experience also remains a core driver for investment, and with contact centers increasingly the only direct line between brands and consumers, it’s of little surprise. Of those surveyed, 89% believe investing in AI is a good way to improve CX. Meanwhile, over 80% think AI will add value now and in the future, for CX management, intelligent customer performance management, omnichannel customer profiles, process automation and smart data management.
Thibaud Pietri, Chief Product Officer at Odigo said : "In an increasingly complex environment, where customers interact with brands using multiple communication channels, technologies such AI are becoming essential to increase brands’ performance. As AI is quickly becoming a cornerstone of customer service the study clearly shows the role that companies like Odigo can play in bridging the skills and technology gaps by providing business with robust CCaaS solutions and enabling them to deliver excellent customer experience. It can also help brands provide a more qualitative approach that enables contact center agents to be as personal and compassionate as a neighborhood shopkeeper."
Lack of skills is holding businesses back
The research shows that one of the main barriers to AI adoption in contact centers is a lack of knowledge and skills. 75% of executives in Europe agree that there is indeed a shortage among their workforce, while 69% of European executives admit they don’t understand how emerging technologies such as AI could add value to their operation and only 16% giving their digital transformation a rating of 90% or better.
The lack of knowledge and skills in AI shows how crucial it now is for businesses to invest in upskilling existing staff as well as looking outside of their usual talent pool to build a workforce that enables them to take the next step in improving CX, while making their operations more efficient and cost-effective.
Investment must be in skills alongside technology
Businesses across Europe indicate a readiness for AI. If implemented in the right way, AI significantly improves CX and overall customer satisfaction (CSAT) in contact centers by assisting agents in maximising their existing skills – which leads to better overall efficiency and productivity across the board.
However, to do this businesses must invest more in educating their workforce in AI so that they can support its implementation internally. Leaders must also do more to attract and retain the best talent where possible by showing that they are leading the way in innovation among contact centers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Odigo helps large organizations connect with individuals through cloud-based contact center solutions. Its proprietary technologies enable a seamless, efficient, omnichannel experience for its customers and a satisfying, engaging experience for service agents. Odigo serves more than 400,000 agents and business users globally. With a 25-year history of industry firsts, Odigo has more than 250 clients around the world.
Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2021
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